Monday, 17 March 2014

The Hardest Job In the World

Franky is 9 weeks old and my god how time has flown by, I have no idea where the last 2 months have gone. I’m so in love with my little man, but having a baby is without a doubt the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and I’m not just talking about Labour!

It is exhausting, relentless, frustrating and challenging but rewarding and amazing all at the same time.

The first few weeks of Franky’s life were one huge blur of hormones and exhaustion. I cried several times every single day. Sometimes I knew why, sometimes I didn’t, but either way the tears came.

I think I was totally unprepared for just how difficult being a first time mum to a newborn was going to be.

‘’Having a baby will be the hardest job you ever do’’ they all said. Yeah, but it can’t be THAT hard otherwise people would never do it, or at least never do it more than once would they, I mused.

I could laugh at my naive thinking now.

In the early days, we would be up every hour throughout the night, changing, feeding and soothing him. No sooner had we gone through all this and he’d fallen asleep, he’d wake up hungry and we’d have to start all over again.

It wasn’t any better during the day either as he wanted to be attached to my boob ALL THE TIME.

I was in pain from labour, sore from feeding this little person relentlessly 24 hours a day and shattered from having no sleep.

‘’Sleep while baby sleeps’’ everyone told me. Easier said than done when you need to eat, drink, clean or go out during the short periods of time when they’re asleep and peaceful. I don’t know about you, but I find it impossible to sleep on demand!

Then he got colic and would scream from 5pm-10pm relentless every night. Feeding, winding him and giving him cuddles did nothing to help and I often felt like I was losing my mind. 

The only thing that every soothed him was a car ride, so every night at 11pm I'd get into the car in my PJ's and we'd drive around aimlessly until he fell asleep.

I'd then carry him upstairs in his pram suit and place him gingerly into his moses basket, still in his pram suit and just pray he wouldn't wake up. 

BUT, it has got easier.

To begin with, I didn’t feel like I knew this person, despite him being in my belly for 9 months. I didn’t know who he was, what he liked and what he didn’t.

Now, I feel like I know him.

I know that he loves cuddles, looking out of the window of the car from his car seat when we go out, bouncing in his rocker,  being sung to, having a bath and totally adores having long massages after!

I can now tell the difference between his cries, something at the start I never thought I’d be able to do, but he really does have a hungry cry, an ‘I’m just grumpy  cry’ and a ‘I’m tired’ cry, which really helps me to figure out what I need to do to make him happy again. 

I also know when he’s happy, as he kind of pants and coo’s at me, which melts my heart every time.

A couple of weeks ago I was giving him a cuddle and I caught a glimpse of a smile. 

Not a windy smile, but a proper smile. He smiled not just with his mouth but with his eyes. I knew I hadn’t imagined it and within a few days, he was smiling regularly. 

This tiny little gesture fills my heart with a joy I never knew could exist and made, and continues to make all the hard parts so worth it.

He can now go 3-4 hours between feeds during the day and is fairly content to entertain himself in his moses basket or rocker, just staring at the world in wonder, giving me time to shower, eat, tidy and do bits and pieces, such as write this post! Rewind several weeks and I never thought I’d get this time to myself!

In fact, last night, Franky had his last feed at 10pm and didn’t wake up until 6:15am! My first night of unbroken sleep in 9 weeks AND when I got him out of his moses basket, I got a huge smile too.

Being a mum is the best thing in the world and the hardest, but I feel so lucky to be Franky’s mum and am excited to grow and learn with him and watch him become his own little person.

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